And in Tirana, the capital of Albania, a U.S. military spokesman said crews of the Army's Apache helicopters deployed in the Balkan nation have been training aggressively in mountainous terrain for action over neighboring Kosovo. He sought to leave Yugoslav forces guessing about how soon they will strike.
Lt. Col. Garrie Dornan, spokesman for Task Force Hawk, dismissed the impact of Monday night's crash of one of the $16-million Apaches, which left two crew members slightly injured.
"The effect of this is nil. We will drive on undeterred," Dornan said.
The deployment of reservists from Beale Air Force Base represents more than a quarter of the 900 men and women attached to the 940th Wing--724 of them reservists, the rest active-duty or civilian personnel--and nearly half its aircraft. The volunteer personnel are scattered throughout the state, though the bulk live in Sacramento and other Central Valley communities around the rural air base.
"It is a significant deployment," said Master Sgt. Patrick Clarke, an air wing spokesman at the base. "The attitude here is they're ready to go, they're ready when called."
Clarke said no final decisions had been made on who would be going or when exactly they would depart.
The deployment is not unusual for the air wing at Beale: The 940th was involved in Operation Desert Storm and has rotated aircraft to assist NATO in subsequent missions against Iraq.
Kempster reported from Washington, Reynolds from Moscow and Williams from Brussels. Times staff writers Marc Lacey in Kukes, Richard Boudreaux in Belgrade, John Daniszewski in Tirana, Janet Wilson at the United Nations, Eric Bailey at Beale Air Force Base, and Paul Richter, Janet Hook and Art Pine in Washington contributed to this report.
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Called to Duty
These Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units have been called up for active duty in the Kosovo operation, the first wave of as many as 33,100 reservists to be summoned for a maximum of six months:
AIR FORCE RESERVE
434th Air Refueling Wing
Location: Kokomo, Ind.
927th Air Refueling Wing
931st Air Refueling Group
Location: Wichita, Kan.
940th Air Refueling Wing
Location: Marysville, Ala.
AIR NATIONAL GUARD
117th Air Refueling Wing
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
128th Air Refueling Wing
161st Air Refueling Wing
171st Air Refueling Wing
More on the Crisis * UGLY SCENES--In the lawless north of Albania, bandits steal refugees' last possessions.A14
* DISSENT STIFLED--Reformers in Yugoslavia say fear blocks any kind of mass protests.A14